It was a bold move for Luca Guadagnino, director of the 2018 Academy Award-nominated, Call Me by Your Name, to undertake a remake of Suspiria, the 1977 film from Italian horror auteur Dario Argento, as his next project. Buoyed no doubt by the critical acclaim Call Me by Your Name had received, Guadagnino, an avowed Argento fan, likely felt he could do Argento's cult classic justice. While this remake does have its moments, the manic energy and artfulness of the original has been replaced with an extended, and at times highly unpleasant, meditation on motherhood, Nazism, terrorism, psychoanalysis, and lots of other stuff I probably failed to absorb, even after repeat viewings. One thing the film does have going for it is Tilda Swinton, an actor who gives 100 percent to any role she's in, even when playing a witch coven leader/dance troupe director/elderly psychotherapist.

419sus.boxAlong with draining the fun out of Argento's original, Guadagnino has also managed to sap it of color. Shot on film in Super 35 format and mastered at 4K, the image on Lionsgate's Suspiria Blu-ray has a distinctly 1970s look, with liberal use made of faded brown, orange, pink, and gray hues. Blacks are solid in shadowy scenes, however, such as the ones in dorm rooms where the dancers live, the area beneath the dance studio where the witches display treasures, and the city's smoke-filled cafés. Close-up shots show solid detail in faces and objects, and I noted little compression noise or banding.

Suspiria's Atmos soundtrack is the real highlight of this disc. Things start off strong with the coarse breathing of a dancer's dying mother literally engulfing the room and then making a seamless transition to the busy atmosphere of a Berlin train station. The sound in the dance studios is vivid and realistic, with voices echoing sharply off the bare wood floors and mirror-clad walls. There's also a near-nonstop sound of rain, either pouring down in a convincing manner via overhead speakers or pinging softly off of rooftops and windows. The music score, by Radiohead's Thom Yorke, veers from atonal and ambient textures that create a sense of unease, to the melancholy, yearning tunes that Yorke's band is best-known for.


Extras on Lionsgate's Blu-ray consist of three short features that cover Guadagnino's motivation for remaking Suspiria, the choreographing of the film's intense dance pieces, and the makeup and special effects production. A digital copy is also included.

Studio: Lionsgate, 2018
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
LENGTH: 152 mins.
DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino
STARRING: Chloë Grace Moritz, Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Mia Goth, Jessica Harper